The nation and many Western countries have successfully suppressed, oppressed and controlled our arts and our cultures: narrowly defining and policing terms and practices, building brick and glass citadels for a wealthy minority and a false vision of economic growth, and creating a hierarchy which places artists as servants and denigrates many working-class communities as “hard to reach” and uncultured.
The privileged few have grown arts and culture as pretty, inoffensive cultivars, kept safe behind their walled gardens and pseudo-Victorian values. Artists are, if lucky, considered as gardeners, cultural managers as gamekeepers. This system is one of enclosure and subjugation. It is unnatural. It is (at least in the sense in which its is our cultures that make us human) inhuman.
Re-wilding our arts practices and our cultural lives means, for me at least, “uncultivating” our communities and our minds, freeing ourselves from the shackles of institutionalism and the enclosures thrown up by a colonising art world to be truly human and more at one with nature.
We are weeds and, whilst we can thrive anywhere, we are happiest outside their nurseries, orangeries, and walled “paradises”. Let us seed art and cultures everywhere so we can all grow and share our creativity and humanity freely, together.
So, let’s start re-wilding the arts.
And let’s start NOW!